As war rages in the mountainous area on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, another war of words and claims is also raging between the Pakistan government and the US led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan insists eleven of its soldiers who were on Pakistan territory were killed by bombs released from drones. The United States insists the drones dropped bombs on insurgents inside Afghanistan. To support its statement, the United States released grainy photographs of bombs being dropped on about a half dozen insurgents who were about 200 yards inside Afghanistan. There is no doubt the bombs depicted are hitting insurgents, but that does not answer the question as to whether or not other bombs hit the eleven soldiers in Pakistan.
Pakistan had undoubtedly antagonized American leaders by entering negotiations with al-Qaida and the Taliban in the northern frontier region. There is a growing difference of opinion between Pakistan and the United States on how best to handle militants. Pakistan is moving in the direction of negotiation while the US emphasizes military operations. The use of drones raises questions concerning mistakes but a mistake will invariably be interpreted in Pakistan as a deliberate action.
Hopefully, a new administration in January, 2009 will explore ways to work with Pakistan in resolving issues of militancy.